I harvested black & red currants today, got about 7lb of the black and 5lb of the red and from just one bush each! It’s the white currants’ turn tomorrow and they look as though there’s a goodly crop :-).
We’re fast approaching Lammas, the harvest feast of the Celtic year and the fruit garden here is giving me of its best. We’re not completely self-sufficient … we like lemons, pineapple, olive oil, flour for bread and cakes, and I eat meat … but we must be about 2/3 to 3/4 self-sufficient. I get to be a better gardener each year, it’s amazing what thoughtful practice can do :-).
As a shaman, I like to live on the produce of the place where I am as far as possible and certainlky to eat local produce as much as I can. The food grown on the land where you live contains the minerals, antibodies, vitamins, and other goodies that you need to live there. This is well known for the effect of honey on hay-fever sufferers. All local food has goodness you need to help you be well there.
Being allergic to the place you live says more about you and your own feelings of at-one-ness with that place than anything else. It’s worth pondering on that … how do you feel about where you live? Do you love it? Is it your friend? Do you care about it? All those sort of questions. If you find yourself answering “no” to them then it’s worth journeying (or whatever you call it) to find out if you should really be there.
This is normal to my life and has been for most of it, since I knew what I was doing. I like to see other places, new places, but I love to come home. When I’m driving and go out into Loegr (England) across the great bridge over the Hafren (Severn) I say farewell to my land and greet Loegr. On the homeward journey I am always so pleased to be crossing the bridge again and I feel the Hafren, and the land, welcome me back.
Being at one with the land where I live I’m not stressed by my home but supported by it. the same for the food, it really does support me. And the water as we’re fortunate to be on our own spring here. Growing my own food helps this enormously. I know what love, and trial and tribulation with the weather sometimes and the slugs etc, has gone into making it. when I go to get supper I go out into the garden asking, “Now, what have you got for me today?”. It’s always good and sometimes a delightful surprise, like the first carrot of this season was the other day … Ooooo! the scent of that carrot as I eased it out of the soil !!!
Even if you only have a tiny garden, yard, pation, balcony even, you can grow some of your own food. In fact, it’s quite amazing what you can grow in just a square yard, this article shows you how to do it. do give it a go if you can … even some basil, salad, mustard-n-cress, sprouting beans and a tomato plant can fit on window ledges :-).
Harvest is so much more than just gathering in fruit and veg … it’s about gathering in yourself too.
I’ll be talking more aobut Lammas on Friday – look here